It is now 2 days before my birthday and I think it is a very good way not only to spend my 2 weeks’ vacation but also to spend my birthday. We got up at 7:00 A.M. & after breakfast the boys got together and tried to bury Benny in a pit used earlier to initiate the Sea Scouts. As usual, John Brady was the instigator. After our brief bit of fun we all gathered together to plan our day’s move. We decided that in order to arrive in Ottawa early in the day we would have to split the remaining 30 miles in two. We decided to canoe to Long Island Locks which is 8 miles east of Ottawa.
At 8:30 A.M. we left Kemptville, Ont., and started paddling down the Rideau once more. The boys are really taking it easy now and are clowning around, from side to side of the canal, always singing songs & rapping their paddles on the canoes & making a lot of noise.
The Rideau is changing fast now and you can tell that we are getting closer to Ottawa. The cottages along the scenic Rideau in this immediate area are beautiful. They are more like large mansion than everyday cottages. They are the nicest ones we have seen so far on the trip.
It is still very hot & every now and then the boys stop and have a quick swim. We paused in Mannotick for a while & looked over a large war canoe which was manned by a group of Venturers from Montreal who were heading back to Montreal.
We stopped and talked to the lockmaster regarding registration for our canoes. I had to go to the doctor’s here in Mannotick as I suffered from second degree burns. Here the doctor treated me and I had to observe his strict rules of being completely covered for 3 days. What a hell of a thing to get used to after not wearing any shirt & just a pair of shorts, especially when it is 90 degrees. I was wrapped up like a mummy in gauze bandages as I had huge blisters on my arms & legs.
We arrived at our campsite at 4:30 P.M. The last canoe arrived at 6:30 P.M. Benny had made arrangements with the lockmaster to camp at the locks with all the modern facilities. The locks along this whole system are beautifully kept and all have the most modern facilities. A lot of the locks are equipped with pay telephones & some even have a small snack bar. We now have left the Rideau Canal behind us, all the way to Kingston. And we have portaged a total of 49 locks.
Supper was served at 7:00 P.M. by myself and Gerald Lynch. To-night it was our turn to act as chief cooks and bottle washers. We served hamburg patties in tomato sauce, peas and rice, onion, cooked cabbage & tea.
Our evening after supper was a quiet one. The scenery was very beautiful here. There were also a number of other people camping here. All there is to do to-night is take a short walk and think about home and Expo 67; then I revert my thinking and think of the crew & I then feel proud, not only proud to be a participant in the trip but to be a leader. Everyone is happy go lucky. Thank goodness now we are not hindered by the crappy Group Committee.
We think of the people who have done so much to help us; people like Mayor Newman whom we are all very proud of, and Mr. Vernon McCarl [MacCarl] who is a councillor in our large town and Mrs. Carter who is also from Whitby and is a devoted member of the Whitby Centennial Committee, Mrs. LaHaye, Ivan Kellestine, the fathers of the boys, our chaplain and many more people too numerous to mention. These people are always mentioned by the boys and very well spoken of by them and the leaders.
Images: Gliding through the Rideau Canal.